Directors' pay almost doubled last year at the State's largest private ambulance service, owned by mortgage campaigner David Hall, sending profits tumbling by 96.5 per cent.
New accounts filed by Mr Hall’s Lifeline Ambulance Service Ltd show that it recorded net profits of €17,831 in the 12 months to June 30th last, compared with €515,831 in the previous 12 months.
The largest contributor to the drop in profits was directors' pay, which nearly doubled to €830,197 from €422,738. The directors are listed as David Hall, Susan Wiseman and former HSE director general Paul O'Brien, who joined the board in the first quarter of last year.
A note attached to the accounts shows that Lifeline Ambulance received services from Mr O’Brien’s Global Leadership and Governance Solutions Ltd and paid Mr O’Brien’s company €18,000.
Mr Hall said revenues were up 22 per cent last year to €6.7 million. He said the year “saw a strong performance with significant operating challenges during Covid-19. There was a greater turnover but lower profit.”
The business employs 150 people. Mr Hall said he had asked Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe to allow him to pay staff the same €1,000 Covid-19 bonus allowed for public healthcare staff without being taxed. He said that if the company was to pay the bonus, ordinarily it would cost the business €1,000 in tax for each bonus paid. He said that the public system was exempt from this.